Ashland, OR Denture Options - Implant-Supported, Partials & Full
Full or partial tooth loss, if left untreated, doesn’t just
affect a person’s self-image — it can also increase the risk of developing
nutritional problems and other systemic health disorders. Fortunately, there’s
a reliable and time-tested method for treating this condition: full or partial
Dentures are just one option for replacing missing teeth;
some of the others include fixed bridgework and dental implants. Each method
has its particular pluses and minuses, which should be carefully considered.
There are also several varieties of dentures available to address specific
issues, from partial dentures to implant-supported overdentures. During a
consultation, we can explain the available options and help determine which is
best in your individual situation.
How Do Removable Dentures Work?
Full or partial dentures consist of a gum-colored base made
of plastic resin, which fits over the remaining alveolar (bone) ridge that
formerly held the teeth. The prosthetic teeth projecting from the base are
designed to look and function just like your natural teeth. Dentures are held
in place primarily by the suctioning effect of their close fit against the
alveolar ridges — that’s why it’s so important that they are fitted properly.
The upper denture also gets extra support from the large surface area of the
roof of the mouth (palate), which generally makes it extremely stable.
At first, wearing dentures may require some getting used to
in terms of talking and eating, as the dentures become “balanced” in the space
formerly occupied by the teeth. But over time, the muscles, nerves and
ligaments of the mouth learn to work in new ways, which allows these functions
to occur normally. Dentures also help support the facial skeleton and the soft
tissues of the lips and cheeks, which can help create a more youthful
Types of Full Dentures
Immediate Dentures: These are usually a temporary means of helping you
transition to successful denture wearing. Because of the muscular readjustment
required, as well as the natural shrinkage of gums, the dentures which are
placed immediately after tooth extraction won’t fit as well as permanent
dentures made when the healing is complete. They do, however, provide you with
new teeth right away, and give you time to adjust.
Conventional Full Dentures: After a period of time, we can fabricate
permanent dentures that conform to your mouth with near-perfect accuracy. These
are carefully crafted to look as much like your own natural teeth as possible,
and are able to function properly in your mouth for a long time.
Implant-Supported Overdentures: To increase the stability of a lower or
upper denture, it’s possible for it to be securely anchored using two or more
dental implants. The upper jaw requires more implants (generally three or more)
than the lower jaw due to a lesser bone density. Many people find this option
offers a great balance of comfort, functionality and value.
Types of Partial Dentures
Transitional Partial Dentures: These relatively inexpensive
removable plastic dentures serve as a temporary tooth replacement and space
maintainer as you wait for your mouth to heal from tooth extraction, for
example. Once the healing process is complete, dental implants can be placed.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs): Usually made
of cast vitallium, these well-constructed, metal-based removable partial
dentures are much lighter and less obtrusive than those made of plastic. They
are a little more expensive than plastic dentures but will fit better. They
are, however, much less expensive than implants or fixed bridgework.
How Dentures Are Made and Fitted
Making quality dentures is a blend of science and art.
First, an accurate impression (mold) is made of the alveolar ridges on the top
and bottom of your mouth. The base of the denture is made from this mold in a
dental laboratory. Working together, the dentist and lab technician choose from
among many different sizes and shapes of prosthetic teeth to re-create a
natural-looking smile. When everyone is satisfied with the result, the
temporary dentures are made in permanent form.
To enable normal speech and eating, it’s crucial to balance
your bite. This means that the upper and lower dentures come together and
properly stabilize each other. We carefully check the form and function of the
dentures to ensure that they are working and fitting properly.
What to Expect After You Get Dentures
If you’ve recently lost your teeth and received an immediate
denture, it’s normal to find some tissue shrinkage and bone loss occurring.
Therefore, in several months you may find that your immediate dentures no
longer fit well. You will have two choices at this point: You can have your
immediate (temporary) dentures re-lined. This means that material is added
under the denture’s base to better conform to the new contours of your alveolar
ridge. A better option is to move to a set of conventional full dentures, which
will last longer and fit better. With proper care, dentures offer a functional,
aesthetic and economical solution to the problem of tooth loss.